Bungie sues a Destiny 2 YouTuber who reportedly hit back at DMCA takedowns did his justice by making false DMCA claims on behalf of Bungie against other streamers and the studio itself. Bungie’s lawsuit, filed in federal court on Wednesdaydemands at least $7.6 million in damages.
The complaint alleges that Nicholas Minor, who broadcast under the name Lord Nazo, created two fake Gmail addresses posing as employees of CSC Global, a copyright management company that Bungie represents. According to the lawsuit, Lord Nazo used those addresses in February to send YouTube 96 takedown requests the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998†
The takedowns related to videos posted by YouTubers My name is Byf (which has 974,000 subscribers); Aztecross (615,000 subscribers) and Bungie’s own YouTube account† “Minor’s attack sent shockwaves through the Destiny community,” the complaint said. “Content creators described the chilling effect the fake takedowns had on their own work, saying, ‘I’m scared to make new Destiny videos, let alone keep the ones I’ve already made up’.”
Under the DMCA, companies like YouTube are required to remove user-published content that infringes on another’s copyright. Such a broad mandate has allowed abuse of the statute’s provisions, with some submitting DMCA statements to YouTube and elsewhere to thwart corporate rivals or social media opponents.
Bungie’s Complaint Claims Minor “Exploitation”[ed] the hole in YouTube’s DMCA process security that allows anyone to claim to represent a rights holder for the purpose of issuing a takedown, with no real safeguards against fraud.”
Bungie said Minor began his retaliation campaign after he himself received DMCA takedown requests in December 2021, regarding uploading the original soundtrack for 2015’s Destiny: The Taken King† “Ninety-six times Minor sent DMCA takedown notices […] to let YouTube instruct innocent creators to use their Lot 2 videos or face copyright strikes, disrupting the community of Bungie players, streamers and fans,” the complaint said. “This has caused significant reputational and economic damage to Bungie, for obvious reasons.”
In March, Bungie fans warned via Twitter that it was aware of the copyright takedown requirements and said they “will NOT be taken at the request of Bungie or our partners.” The complaint cites a “manifesto” from Minor, also sent to the Destiny community that month, in which he admits to the false takedowns.
“The manifesto reads like a hackneyed ‘look what you made me do’ letter from the serial killer in a bad novel,” Bungie’s lawyers wrote.
The lawsuit was filed in the western district of Washington state, where Bungie is headquartered. In the complaint, Bungie notes that it “allows players to create videos with” Destiny gameplay” and upload them to YouTube and other services that monetize the content. However, the studio reserves its intellectual property rights, and the right to enforce them, in cases where the spirit of the user-created content guidelines is violated .Minor’s wholesale upload from The Taken King‘s OST violated those guidelines, the complaint says.
The lawsuit is seeking at least $7.6 million, or $150,000 for each of the 51 cases where Minor allegedly infringed Bungie’s registered copyrights by issuing the false takedown requests. Other parts of the lawsuit seek unspecified factual and legal damages, “to show that dire consequences await someone else foolish enough to” […] target the Bungie community for an attack.”